Evelyn Gayle Buttars Bouck (79), “Gayle,” loving wife, mother, grandmother and sister, passed away suddenly at her home on May 18, 2017 of a heart attack. Gayle was born December 11, 1937 in Weston, Idaho, the fourth of six children born to Ruben and Clara Buttars.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Alton Buttars, and two sisters, Donna Funk and Marlene Koller.
She is survived by her husband of 54 years and her seven children; Ruth, Janice (Curt) Roberts, Paul (Heidi), Michael (DeLyn), Daryl (Kim), Kevin (Joy), and Steven (Amy), 28 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two sisters, Carolyn (Neil) King and VaLoy Packer.
Gayle, along with her parents and siblings worked together on the family farm. She was raised to love the land, to grow and harvest crops, and to feel the satisfaction and pride of overcoming hardship and trials.
At the age of five, Gayle contracted polio. Treatments were rudimentary, involving itchy, hot wool packs and other medications which she hated. The treatments saved her life, but an extended stay with her aunt in Salt Lake City and surgery were required to restore very limited use of her right arm and hand.
In her early life, this disability caused Gayle to be self-conscious and shy, but she eventually determined that with extra courage she could do everything her sisters and brother could do. Although right handed, Gayle learned to write letters, shift the tractor, hoe the garden, milk cows, pick beans, sew, and cook with her left hand better than most able-bodied people. Later in life she buoyed up all those around her, typing her husband's master’s thesis and writing letters to all her missionaries. Her ability to overcome this obstacledefined how she lived her life. She never complained or made excuses. Gayle was an inspiration to all who knew her.
Gayle attended school in Weston and graduated from West Side High School in Dayton, Idaho. In high school she was elected as the Secretary of the Senior Class. She also became the president of the Pep Club, editor of the yearbook, and was involved in many other activities. She graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Food and Nutrition in 1961. Though her life's work was always her home, farm, and children, she used her degree to enrich and educate others about healthy and nutritious eating. She worked at the hospital Preston, Idaho as a Registered Dietician and freely shared her knowledge with those around her.
After earning her degree, Gayle moved to Seattle to take an internship at King County Hospital which later resulted in her first job. It was in Seattle that she met and fell in love with David J. Bouck. They were married in the Logan LDS Temple on December 17, 1962.
Gayle and Dave spent their life serving and supporting one another. Gayle assisted Dave in his schooling and job ambitions. Following Dave's service in the Air Force, they continued their schooling at Utah State University. While attending school in Logan, Utah, their first three children were born, Ruth, Janice and Paul. After graduation they moved to New York for Dave's newly acquired position with General Electric. While living in Bridgewater, New York, Gayle and Dave had three more children, Michael, Daryl, and Kevin.
In Bridgewater, Gayle spent her days caring for her children and ensuring their happiness and wellbeing. While Janice and Paul attended Summer Vacation Bible School, Gayle took care of the babies, at one point having three in cloth diapers. The children spent many happy hours with Gayle playing in the yard, splashing in the pool, and slipping down the slide. The Bouck children were taught to respect their elders but especially Gayle as they saw how their father cherished and honored her.
While each of Gayle's children had a special relationship with her, there was something exceptional about the way Gayle cared for Ruth. Ruth was born with Downs syndrome requiring extra care and attention. However, Gayle always attended to Ruth with limitless patience and the utmost devotion. Gayle understood what it was like to be different and wanted Ruthie to know that she was an integral part of their family.
Despite a lucrative job and a comparatively easy life in Upstate New York, Gayle and Dave decided that New York was not the place to foster spiritual growth and a strong work ethic in their children. So they returned to Cache Valley where Dave secured an engineering position at Presto Products in Lewiston, Utah, and Gayle worked at the Preston hospital. Later they purchased a home and farm north of Weston, Idaho. It was here that Steven was born and where they raised their children, instilling in them the values of love, service, and the ability to work. Cache Valley was always home to Gayle and she appreciated returning to her roots.
Memories of Gayle are intertwined with life on the farm. Work ethic was not something Gayle and Dave just talked about, they modeled it every day. While assisting with all the chores, milking the cows, and tending a garden, Gayle also took on more traditional tasks of cleaning the house, and preparing meals for family, friends, and anyone else employed on the farm.
Gayle’s house was always stocked with a seemingly endless supply of food. Whether it was for a special family occasion, kids coming home from school, employees on the farm, or family dinner, Gayle provided the best. There was always plenty of fresh baked bread, homemade raspberry jam and bottled peaches for an after-school snack. Gayle’s cookie jar was always stocked with cookies and on special occasions the family enjoyed Gayle's donuts and “Peach Fazool”, her own signature concoction.
Summers on the farm were always busy. Mornings were especially hectic while trying to get the hay baled before the sun dried it out. Gayle was always there helping with the chores and then bringing breakfast to the field with her famous “haymaker” breakfast sandwich. In addition to chores and meals, Gayle always carried the burden of laundry for her family of nine. Saturdays often resulted in the back room being filled with mounds of clothes to be mended or folded. Gayle would wake several times on Friday nights to keep the washer and dryer going during the nighttime when cheaper power helped keep costs down.
While sometimes longing for a simpler existence, Gayle fully embraced the constant battle of farm life. Whether it was making sure the 40 plus young calves were fed, a midnight report that “the cows were out” or getting everyone off to school on time, Gayle took it all on while still finding time to share and serve others along the way.
No reflection of Gayle’s life would be complete without mentioning her incredible skills as a seamstress. The love of sewing is thought to skip a generation at times, but not in Gayle’s family. Taught the art and skill of sewing by her mother, Clara Buttars, Gayle enjoyed creating art at quilting retreats with all of her sisters. No project was too big, too many or too hard. School clothing or dresses for special occasions always included the loving work of Gayle’s hands.
Gayle made quilts for all her children. Grandchildren were recipients of blankets, pillowcases, doll clothes, pajamas, embroidered towels and anything that could be sewn. Family reunions always necessitated numerous sewing projects for all involved.
One might think that having 500 acres of crops to care for would curb any desire to grow anything more, but Gayle loved having her garden. The family always had fruit from the orchard in the backyard and fresh raspberries from the raspberry patch that Gayle and Dave planted shortly after purchasing the farm. The apple trees and raspberries weren’t enough though. Ever seeking the perfect garden spot, Gayle’s garden found its home in many areas of the farm. The end of the season brought bags of corn, jars of jam, and canned fruits stored for the season in the basement.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ was a pillar in Gayle’s life. Her character was defined by her love of God and her faithful devotion to His teachings. Gayle served for several years as an officiator in the Logan Temple. From a young age, she carried a testimony of priesthood blessings. Gayle’s tireless work in church callings included Relief Society President, Primary President, Ward Historian, Cub Scouts leader, Sunday School teacher, Relief Society teacher, Stake Primary, flannel story board presentations at stake baptisms, and many others.
Giving of herself was an innate characteristic for Gayle. Whether with a close friend or in devoted church service, Gayle tirelessly provided meals, a listening ear, a gentle hug, or a warm smile to everyone. The service she rendered through church, employment, and community was done with all of her heart, but nothing surpassed her devoted service to her family.
We are all heartbroken at the sudden loss of our wife and mother. The void she left in this life will never be filled. However, her legacy of faith, devotion, determination, laughter, service and genuine compassion live on in the lives of all those who were honored to know her.
We love you, Gayle. Well done thou good and faithful servant.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 26 at 11:00 a.m. at the Dayton, Idaho, LDS chapel. A viewing will be held on Thursday, May 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Webb Funeral Home, 1005 S. 800 E. in Preston, Idaho and from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Friday prior to services at the church. Interment will be in the Dayton Cemetery.